Slimming World

Slimming World: Group Week 2

Slimming World: Group Week 2

It may look like that was the shortest week ever, but really I was very behind with posting week 1. On to week 2…

Week 2:

If you’d like to see how I got on last week, check out my Week 1 update. I was very determined to have another loss this week to get my ‘month off’ gain to disappear. Lets see how I got on with week 2:

How was my week?

This second week was actually really good and I felt in control and very much on plan. I’m really enjoying looking for new recipes and exciting dinners to try. It’s important to do this otherwise it gets a bit boring eating the same things every week. I decided on Saturday that I would have a day off counting syns and healthy extras and my gosh was it good. I’m not even entirely sure what I ate, but all I do know was that it was a lot. The week before I had a day off on the Saturday and lost weight so I wasn’t particularly worried that it’d affect my weight loss.

What did I like this week?

When I went to the supermarket for a little top up shop I accidentally ended up in the tasty Halloween section. We don’t “celebrate” or do anything for Halloween, but that doesn’t stop me eyeing up the food. I found some tiny packs of Drumstick Squashies. They are A M A Z I N G. There are about 5 sweets in every bag which doesn’t seem a lot, but I can make them last a while. Each tiny pack is 2.5 syns which is pretty fabulous. This is definitely the best time of year to fill your syn bin with all things tasty and tiny.

A Slimming World top tip:

If you are an avid Instagrammer like me, then this is a huge top tip for you. Create yourself a separate Instagram account and, as stupid as it sounds, take pictures of the food you eat and post it. I do this on a daily basis. This alongside writing everything down really helps to keep me on track. The support you get from others is great too – even just getting ‘likes’ is motivational. There are tonnes and tonnes of people on there doing the same thing so it’s like one massive support group. Plus, everyone has amazing ideas that you might not of thought of..or discovered the best low syn snacks that you haven’t found yet. It’s well worth doing.

How much did I lose?

I had a nice loss of 1.5lbs this week. This means that I now have 7lbs to go until I get to my second target – then probably another 7 to get to my final target. I’m hoping I can do that by Christmas, but we shall see. I do feel like my weight loss is slowing down now which is annoying but I’m not giving up just yet.

I’ve said that my target for this week is to lose 1.5lbs again – bring on the speed food!

Slimming World

Slimming World: Group Week 1

Slimming World: Group Week 1

I’m a little bit behind with writing this week 1 post as yesterday was my second weigh in week at group. I did think about just going straight on to my week 2 post but thought I’d rather include my full group journey.

Week 1:

The other week I wrote a little post about my Slimming World journey so far. In that post I mentioned that I had joined my first group after trying out Slimming World online for a year (on and off). I’d managed to lose over a stone but I really just needed something different and a bit of motivation. Without further ado, here’s my Group Week 1 update.

How was my week?

After a month of Slimming World I thought that I would take a while to get back into it, but that didn’t happen. I’d prepared by doing a food shop ready to get going first thing on Thursday morning and this really helped me to motivate myself. There is nothing worse than not having any food in the house or only having bits and pieces of junk left over. I need fruit, fruit and more fruit and maybe a few veg here and there! Planning all of the meals we would be having that week is really vital and helps me to stick to plan. Each day I wrote down everything that I ate and counted up my syns and healthy extras. This helped to ensure I wasn’t accidentally cheating or affecting my weight loss.

Before I got back to Slimming World we were mostly eating frozen oven dinners, so it has been amazing to be back into the swing of cooking from scratch. I do actually really enjoy it despite it sometimes taking ages and ages. A couple of times I have had hungry patches but this was when I didn’t eat a proper meal so my body wasn’t happy with me – if I eat plenty at each meal time then I never feel hungry. In fact, some days I get to ‘treat time’ and I don’t fancy anything because I’m so full from all my free and speed foods. I guess that is part of the point though!

What did I like this week?

My all time favourite thing to have on Slimming World is 2 soft boiled eggs, a slice (or 2) of toast and Marmite. The flavour combinations just work together perfectly. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out. I boil my eggs for around 4 minutes and that usually leaves me with a perfectly cooked white and a delicious runny yolk. This is mad for me to say because I used to HATE the yolk. What a weirdo.

A Slimming World top tip:

P L A N. This is one of the things I absolutely credit my weight loss to. I always, always plan our dinners (and my breakfasts and lunches for the best part) in advance. I usually hunt down recipes on the Slimming World website and then buy based on the ingredients needed. This ensures that I have no excuses to not make healthy meals. Alongside that, I write down every single thing I eat, mark if it’s my HEA or HEB and the syn amounts so I know exactly where I am. If I don’t write it down, I get flustered and worried that I’ve gone over my allowance.

How much did I lose?

This week I managed to lose 2lbs! Aside from a day out on the Saturday when I consumed about 4000 calories (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not) I was 100% on plan. In fact, I wasn’t even expecting to lose anything so I’m really pleased.

Fingers crossed I can keep up the good work for next week.

Mental Health

World Mental Health Day: Labels Are For Jars, Not People

“I don’t think people understand how stressful
it is to explain what is going on in your
head when you don’t even understand it yourself”

I’m not usually someone that is completely open about myself, especially not on a public blog. I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and wrote a post about the anxiety that I suffer with over phone calls and I honestly feel so much better for doing so. It isn’t something that you can simply just slip into conversation and when it’s something everyone else seems to do so easily, without effort, it can be really hard to talk about. That can be part of the problem and I think it is safe to say that it is the same across the whole spectrum of mental health.

When you feel like nobody else would understand you if you put your heart on a string and opened up, you do really close up and feel like it is just better to not say anything at all. Unfortunately this is made worse by the fact that there is a huge stigma out there about mental health, coming from, I suppose, people that just can’t understand it or don’t struggle with it themselves. This seems bizarre, because 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year (see: mental health myths and facts) so it seems unwarranted that there should be any stigma attached to it at all. If you think of it like this: if you had 4 friends, at least one of them will have a mental health problem. That’s a lot of people!

One of the problems is that a lot of terms are thrown around that shouldn’t be. “I’m so depressed because I didn’t get the new clothes I wanted” “I’m so OCD, everything has to be tidy” “I saw my ex today, and had such a panic attack”. No. Think about how hard that is to hear to somebody who is actually depressed and suffering with depression, or someone who is taken over daily by their OCD, or someone who cannot leave the house without having an actual panic attack. It’s so wrong. Not only does it make it harder for the people suffering with them, but it makes the stigma behind it worse too, meaning mental health sufferers are even less likely to open up. They’ll even hide it from their close friends, family and partners because they just can’t imagine anyone ever understanding.

Labels are for jars, not people

It’s really important to be mindful of other people who may be suffering from a mental health problem – you should always be careful about what you say and how you word things. Nobody with a mental health problem should be labelled, or treated any differently. At the end of the day, everyone is still human and nobody deserves to be singled out because of how they are or who they are as a person.

If you do feel like you are being labelled because of a mental health problem, it can make you feel incredibly isolated and alone. The best thing to do is to offer support, offer your ears, offer companionship not push someone aside or label them – in fact, that is the worst thing you could do. Nobody should ever have to feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit they are struggling with their mental health.

In an ideal world EVERYONE would think like this and EVERYONE would be able to understand that everyone is wired differently, everyone has different struggles and just because they don’t, it doesn’t mean it can be used against somebody else. But this world is less than ideal and unfortunately there will always people who keep the mental health stigma alive – I do wonder how they would feel though if they were to experience mental health problems themselves – it’d be a whole new kettle of fish.

Think before you speak

For now though, lets just be supportive of our friends, family and partners, lets keep an open mind about how other people may be feeling and take a minute to think before you speak – after all, you never know who’s day you are about to make 100 times worse. If you think what you are about to say is wrong, it probably is. Remember this: mental health is just as important as physical health.

World Mental Health Day


The New “Pampers Club” App

This isn’t sponsored, or an ad, I just liked it so I’m writing about it.

The other day whilst sorting through the vast amount of junk emails I receive, whilst attempting not to buy the entirety of the New Look autumn collection, I stumbled upon an email from Pampers. Quite often I receive little update emails from them and sometimes coupons, but this one was different and it caught my eye – basically, it was really my cup of tea.

It was all about their new mobile app called Pampers Club. The general gist is that you download it, log in, buy Pampers products (obviously don’t just buy them for the sake of it), upload a picture of your receipt and then you are rewarded with points. And of course we all know what points make…prizes!

Funnily enough, I had just that moment got back from Asda and I had bought £18 worth of Pampers nappies so I was super keen to upload my receipt. Within the hour my receipt was processed and I had got my points. I believe I also got 500 extra points for it being my first time uploading. Winner.

Now, in terms of speed, I was very impressed that my receipt was processed so quickly. I have used a couple of other apps before where you get points for uploading receipts and some of them are VERY slow and because of this, I know longer use them. They just don’t seem worth the effort if you have to wait so long to see any benefit.

The rewards you can get from the Pampers Club all differ – from coupons off nappies, to free photo prints from Photobox, to personalised posters. The list goes on and I highly recommend checking it out to see the entire list. Anyone would think I was being paid for writing this…..I’m not…..I’m just really excited because it’s lovely to be rewarded for buying, especially in this expensive day and age.

I was super happy to see that I had enough points to get 50 free prints from Photobox, which just happens to be my favourite and most used photo printing website. I did have a slight issue with my first order as the email wouldn’t download properly, but a quick email to Pampers had this resolve and they even added some additional points as a good will gesture. This meant I now had enough to get 100 free prints – wahoo.

I received my voucher code straight away via email and I have already ordered and received my prints. The best bit was that I didn’t even have to pay for postage so no money was spent. Amazing.

If you’re thinking “my gosh I spend a lot of money on Pampers nappies and wipes (etc) and buy them often” and you also like to be rewarded, then I would definitely recommend downloading the app and start uploading your receipts straight away. It seems really worthwhile and I’m super excited to start building my points up…although this does half tempt me to go out and buy double amounts of Pampers, but I’m not gonna be that silly 😉

Slimming World

Slimming World: My Journey So Far

Slimming World

Towards the end of last year I first signed up to Slimming World. I was fed up with the constant battle over hating how I looked and wanting to be a slimmer version of myself. My motivation was low, I didn’t believe that I could ever lose weight and I had this foreboding that I would just quit pretty quickly. I did.

By November I had lost 7lbs and got my half stone award, I’d stuck to plan for a few weeks and I was thoroughly enjoying it. Then, for some reason, I did what I usually do and what I knew I would do….I quit. As simple as that.

Over Christmas and into the New Year I put on all the weight I had lost and was almost back at my highest ever weight. To be honest, even that didn’t motivate me. I’ve always been a junk food loving child and it’s stayed with me until my adulthood and so changing my mindset is going to be a struggle. It is very hard going from eating whatever food you want whenever you want, to sticking to a plan and I didn’t have the motivation there to drag myself through.

I attempted to get back on plan numerous times and again, failed. Then, one day at the end of July I signed back in to my Slimming World Instagram account and scrolled back through all my posts. The first picture was of my body, in pants, looking disgusting. When I saw it I cringed, but then I realised…that’s still how I looked. I swiftly deleted every single picture of me, my food, quotes, all of it from my previous attempts. And then I posted this:

This in itself was the start of a journey for me. I had somehow inspired myself to rejoin Slimming World online and give it another shot. This time I actually had something to look forward to, a motivator: our summer holiday in September! I wanted to fit in my shorts properly, I wanted to look fairly decent and I wanted to be able to look back at photos and not hate myself for how I looked during our first family holiday abroad. It was time I finally made a change.

I rejoined Slimming World online at my slightly lower starting weight than the previous time. I set myself a target – to lose 7lbs by the beginning of September.

The reality? Just two weeks later at the start of August, I had already lost those 7lbs. It was something I never thought I would do, let alone achieve way sooner than my planned time scale. It was then I started the 30 Day Shred. I felt better in myself so I wanted to now start to improve my fitness and tone up my body. Honestly? I lasted less than a week. It did however help me to lose 2 inches off my hips and waist – crazy!

A miracle had occurred. I had stuck to a weight loss plan for longer than a few days. I’d made it through almost a month since my original “must be motivated” Instagram post and then something wonderful happened. By greatest Non Scale Victory yet…I bought a pair of size 12 jeans as a joke (I had been a 14 for a number of years) and they only bloody went on and did up! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I still can’t believe that I’m a 12!

I got lots of new summer clothes for my holiday and by the time we went, I was down 11lbs. Unbelievable really for someone so stuck in their ways, someone who’d eat a 6 pack of crisps or an entire giant bar of Dairy Milk. I was amazed in myself and felt very, very happy on holiday. Plus, the pictures are actually acceptable for once! Here is on of me posing in Santorini:

The holiday we went on was actually a cruise around Italy, Greece and Montenegro. It was absolutely wonderful. For those who haven’t been on a cruise, it involves a LOT of food. There’s buffet open all day, cakes, a tuck shop, room service and a 5 course meal in the evening. That meant an awful lot was consumed and I was completely sure I had ruined all of my hard work.

I was so wrong. I got home, stepped on the scales with my eyes closed and to my shock and surprise, I weighed 3lbs LESS than I did before we went away. I still don’t have a clue how, but I’m putting it down to all the walking we did and all the water I drank. This also took me into my next stone bracket…one I hadn’t seen for a long time. I got my 1 Stone Award, Club 10 and Target all in one weigh in. Blimey!

From then (2nd week of September) until this Wednesday I have been completely off plan. I just couldn’t re-motivate myself and was just enjoying the way I looked. I did know I needed to get back on plan though otherwise before I know it, I would have put that stone back on. I was discussing potentially going to a group and my friend said that she would love to come too as she’d like to lose some weight.

So, this Wednesday, we went off to our local group and signed up! I have put 3lbs on in the time I have been off plan, which is quite frankly amazing for me – I usually gain weight just looking at junk. I’ve set myself a new target and I’m hoping to achieve that by Christmas.

And here we are! I’m going to hopefully write a weekly post about how I got on and my weigh in results, but you can also follow my food diary and feelings over on my Slimming World Instagram. 

Mental Health

Modern Technology & Anxiety

This is not the kind of post I would usually sit down and write. I do like to be quite open on my blog about my life but there are some things that I feel afraid to write about, or more likely, be honest about. It’s that whole “if I don’t talk about it, does it really exist” thought process. It’s wrong and I know it’s wrong.

My inspiration to get way out of my comfort zone and write this post was a friend who recently wrote a post for Time To Change, a campaign to change how we all think and act about mental health. Her post was all about the judgements people make and how it’s very difficult living with mental illness, especially when people really don’t understand what you’re going through. I am very proud of her because it must take a huge amount of confidence to be so honest and open about her own diagnosis, especially when there are so many people that just don’t understand, or are part of the ‘mental health should not be spoken about’ stigma. If you’d like to read more of Nikita’s material (you should, it’s great stuff) then you can also check out her blog: All The Unheard Voices.

In some ways I think that, before I write this post, it is important to point out that I have never actually been diagnosed with any type of anxiety. In other ways I think, why should I justify that? It doesn’t make what I’m about to say any less valid. I’m digressing because I’m nervous to even start, but here I go.

Technology is something that progresses every single day. There’s always innovation and things that already exist are constantly evolving. Growing up through my teenage years, I was lucky enough to have access to the internet and mobile phones and then mobile phones with internet, then social media and then even more social media! From the age of 11 I’d say these things have been a huge part of my life.

Another thing that has been a huge part of my life, since I’d say, the age of 11, is a fear of making phone calls and using the telephone. I think it pretty much speaks for itself what that means, but I’ll explain. Telephone phobia (as it’s known) is a reluctance or fear of making or taking phone calls. It is considered to be a type of social phobia or social anxiety. It also ties in very much with a fear of being criticised, judged or made a fool of when engaging with an audience (fear of public speaking) which I also struggle with. There is no denying that the two are linked and I have really battled with them both.

My family and my partner are no strangers to the fact that I struggle with making phone calls. To them, it’s an every day occurrence and one that they do as simply as they would putting on clothes. Almost that they can do it without even thinking. For me, it’s the complete opposite. It’s really, really hard. It’s even harder being an adult, living in a flat, having a family and bills and still struggling with it.

When I am faced with a situation where I may have to make a phone call, I start to feel panicky. It actually worries me to the point that it makes my stomach tie up in knots. It’s the same feeling I got every time I stood at the front of class at school doing a presentation, every time I performed in a concert in front of a hall full of people and every time I was about to step on stage at a dance show. On days when I can push myself to actually do it, it involves an awful lot of planning. That includes being certain of the following: when I am going to make the call, what number I am calling, who I need to speak to, why I am calling. I’ll sit and plan the conversation even. It sounds extreme, but it’s what it takes for me to be able to even find the number I need to dial. I will however go out of my way and do anything to not have to pick up my phone and dial a number at all. That includes, going online.

The norm, I assume, would be “I need to call so-and-so about such-and-such, I’ll go online and get their number and sort it right away”. The process for me however is more along the lines of “I need to call so-and-so about such-and-such. First of all I’ll go online to see if they have an email contact form, or a Twitter page, or a Facebook account”. There is no denying that it makes what should be a simple task, a really, long drawn-out task. I have put off making very simple, but very important phone calls for months because I can’t bring myself to call. It’s a strange one – the risk of the outcome from not calling, although HUGE, seems less scary than actually calling. I’m that fearful of it all that I never usually have my phone on loud because I’m scared it will ring, and I’ll sit and watch a number pop up on my screen and wait for them to cancel the call, before going online to see who it was. If I can’t find out who it was, I just pretend they never called. It feels very irrational and very strange admitting it.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot more recently as I am faced with more and more situations where I may perhaps need to use the phone but still choose not to. I’m no closer to understanding why this panics me and scares me so much, but I have been looking into it a lot more. One thing that I have thought of amongst the many conversations I have with myself about it, is this:

Does modern technology make anxiety worse?

Put like that it sounds like I have just come up with a bit of a sweeping statement and published it on my blog. Maybe I have. Who knows. But I still want to go into it, probably mostly rhetorically. I mean, for instance, is there a connection with the two? Do I struggle more with my ‘anxiety’ and fear of phone calls because I have access to an online world which holds most of the answers? Would I have still struggled 20 years ago when the whole internet thing wasn’t as big? If this is all connected, is modern technology therefore, in some ways, actually bad for our mental health?

It does make me wonder. Of course, I’m not going to get any answers right here and now and I’ll probably not get any closer to understanding if there is any truth behind what I’m thinking, but in my mind it does make sense. If I, in most cases, can find an answer online, does that make it even harder when I actually HAVE to make a call?

In other ways you could say that actually modern technology makes it better. If I can find answers online, or contact companies by Twitter or Facebook or E-Mail, then I don’t have to put myself through the stress of potentially having to make a phone call. But then that’s problematic in itself – avoiding an anxiety and fear that is so obviously there and pretending like it isn’t. It’s a tough one, but I just had to get this out.

Dear Oscar

Dear Oscar: 19 Months Old

Oscar is 19 months old! It is getting harder and harder to write Oscar’s monthly updates. When they’re small babies the changes and developments they go through are massive. It was almost as though there was something new to report every single day. That isn’t really the case these days. It’s not that he isn’t learning anything because, my gosh, he’s learning a lot but it’s more a case of expanding things he already knows. For example, adding new words to his vocabulary and starting to understand what more things are.

I’ve decided that I’ll only include Oscar’s weight & height occasionally as there’s not always a huge change within the month and so it’s not really worth writing down.

Things Oscar Can Do

  • Last month I mentioned that Oscar had started to speak with a vast array of different words. His vocabulary last update consisted of the following words and phrases: cat, dog, woof woof, car, bus, popcorn, gone, all gone, mama, dada, granddad, garden, wow, oh, no, shoes, cot, door, what’s that. Now, he can also say the following: Ooooh no, ooooh wow, dodo (dummy), toes and he now uses the word its before other words i.e. it’s dada, it’s mama, it’s gone so he’s definitely gaining knowledge in what he is saying.
  • We’ve discovered toes! And toe fluff. When we take his socks off he’ll take the fluff off his toes and then he’ll say “all gone!” which is the sweetest thing ever.
  • This month Oscar has started to understand his little puzzles (the wooden ones with the pegs on each piece – he has one with farmyard animals). He knows that the animals need to go in the gaps and he can sometimes slot them in, but he’s not entirely grasped that he needs to spin them round. It’s amazing to see how hard he tries though!

Oscar’s Favourite Things

  • In The Night Garden. I think this will be a firm favourite for a while. We’ve bought him a little Ninky Nonk train for Christmas which we think he is going to absolutely love.
  • We recently bought Oscar a new ride on car because the tractor he had fell apart (but that’s a whole other ridiculous story). It’s in the style of The Good Dinosaur (I think that’s what it’s called?) which none of us have actually seen, but he loves it. It’s got loads of buttons to press and it sings A LOT. Quite often he spends ages zooming up and down the living room on it….WITHOUT HOLDING ON. He is nuts.

Oscar Hates

  • Eating when he is out of the house or at someone else’s house. This is a bit of a weird one and we can’t quite put our fingers on why he is doing it. We think that it might be just because there are so many new things to look at and lots of distractions, but we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on him.
  • When he wakes up in the morning and daddy has already gone to work. The first chatter we have each morning consists of “Where’s dada?” and I say “He’s at work” to which Oscar response “Ooooh no”. It’s so sad but so adorable. It melts my heart – and daddies when I tell him.

Mummy’s Thoughts

I quite often look at Oscar and wonder how me and his daddy produced such a gorgeous, clever, funny and cheeky little boy. He has such a big personality. Some days are hard work, but they are also very rewarding – it’s much nicer now he’s engaging in some conversation and isn’t just sleeping 12 hours a day. Although, that was sometimes very blissful.

Dear Oscar: 19 Months Old


Not Just A Mum

Sometimes I get lost. Not literally. But, hear me out. In amongst changing nappies, wiping up spillages, making meals and throwing them away again, finding raisins down the side of the sofa, listening to Bing bunny whine on about how ‘scarededed’ he is and scraping together pennies to take the toddler to soft play, I forget I’m not just a mum. And I get lost in those thoughts, big time. It’s currently what I do 24/7 and so it’s easy to get caught up in the feeling that being a mum is my only purpose. It’s not.
I forget it. Friends forget it. Everyone forgets it. From the outside looking in, I am just a stay-at-home-mum and it’s so easy to forget that I am also a capable adult. I am a human BEING rather than just a human doing. I am capable of having another purpose, of learning and achieving.

My thoughts recently have been taken up mostly by what I would like to do when I’m no longer a stay-at-home-mum. When I no longer put all my time and effort into the mum side of my life and instead have to share that time and effort with a job. Who will I be then? It’ll be different. So very different. I’ll be the one up early scraping the child out of bed, making packed lunches, I’ll be doing the dreaded daily school run, then in the evening I’ll be dinner lady and cleaner. In between all that I’ll also have a job.

I want to learn and achieve something so that when it is the time for me to go back to working a full time job, I will have a proper purpose in that. I want to be a “somebody” AND a mum and I want to build myself a career that I love. When my days will be so busy I want to take some joy from them, I want to be able to sit down at the end of every day not wishing I didn’t have to work the next day. I want to enjoy what I do.

That means a lot of my time now is spent wondering what that career might be. I’m constantly googling courses, things I can learn and jobs that I would love to have. It seems a bit weird doing it now but I just want to feel ready when that day comes. I don’t want to just pick anything and go with it, that won’t make me happy.
I do sometimes feel held back but when I think of it properly, the only thing that is holding me back is ME. If I don’t want a boring, uninspiring job then I’ll have to work for that and not let myself knock my own confidence. If I want to achieve then I can. And I will.

After all, I’m not JUST a mum, I’m me.

Dear Oscar

Dear Oscar: 18 Months Old

I’ve not written a Dear Oscar update in a long time. In fact, the last one I actually finished and published was his 13 month update and as you can see, that was a long time ago. Admittedly I am annoyed that I didn’t keep up with them, but then I did neglect my blog for ages too. Woopsie.

Oscar is now 18 months old. This fact in itself blows me away multiple times a day because I simply can’t accept or understand how time is flying by so quickly. My baby is turning into a proper toddler and it makes me so sad (but equally very proud at the same time). Enough of the mum emotions, on to the update…

Weight: For anyone that has read any of these updates before, you’ll know I’ve been terrible at taking him to the clinic and actually haven’t had him weighed there since he was 10 months old. Uh oh, bad mum alert. I do weigh him at home now on our scales so I know where he is at. Currently he’s weighing in at 23lbs.

Height: I did actually measure Oscar’s height for the first time in months and months the other day, but I can’t remember the exact number. It was either 81, 82 or 83cm but that’s pretty much the same thing, right?!

Things Oscar Can Do

  • T A L K. We have got a chatterbox child! Ok, most of the time we have no idea what he is actually saying because there’s a lot of baby chatter going on, but he seems to have full on conversations with his toys. His vocabulary is expanding so quickly, it’s bloody amazing. The words/phrases he can currently say are: cat, dog, woof woof, car, bus, popcorn, gone, all gone, mama, dada, granddad, garden, wow, oh, no, shoes, cot, door, what’s that. I think that’s all but I may have missed a couple!
  • Point to his eyes, mouth, nose and hair. We’re working on ears, but he hasn’t grasped that one yet. He can also point out all of the above on his mini Iggle Piggle.
  • Put Duplo together…..when it suits him, of course! The rest of the time it’s “MAMA MAMA” or “DADA DADA” when he wants us to fix it for him.
  • Climb. A lot. Yep, we definitely have a daredevil on our hands. Oscar is not afraid of anything and will climb all over the place at the park whilst I spend the whole time panicking. MUM LIFE!!
  • Follow instructions e.g. “Oscar, please can you put your car in the toy box…” and answer questions “Oscar, would you like some milk?” *nods* or he says “mmmmm” and nods at the same time which is adorable and hilarious.

Oscar’s Favourite Things

  • In The Night Garden. He is obsessed with HANDS DOWN the weirdest, most bizarre programme there is on Cbeebies. Jake and I can never work out what is actually going on or who is what etc. but then we are old. Somehow, and I have no idea how unless he has his very own baby watch, he knows when it’s almost time for it to start and he’ll point and shout “GARDEN” at the telly.
  • Duplo. I’ve not seen him play with anything else but Duplo for a long while (except the Happyland bus he has). This all started on our recent holiday (blog post to come) when my parents bought him a little Duplo bus. He’s obsessed with it. Mummy and daddy aren’t so keen because it’s not a very reliable bus and always falls apart!
  • As mentioned a few times, buses! We went on numerous bus rides on our holiday and ever since he has been obsessed. I’ll be driving along and all of a sudden I hear him scream “BUUUUUUUS” and he’ll point them out on TV too.
  • Running like a Twirlywoo. Yep, my child is basically one of them. It’s adorable – he runs as fast as he can with his arms straight out behind his back! When he first did it I was a bit confused then Jake said “isn’t that how the Twirlywoo’s run?” yep and yep. The things they pick up, eh?

Oscar Hates

  • His high chair. We’ve fully retired it now because he just screams if we make him go anywhere near it. We are now onto the big boys table and chair.
  • The hoover is still his least favourite thing ever. STILL? To be fair to him, I was scared of the hoover until I was about 11 so I’ll let that one slide. Ahem. Ok, but in my defence my brother did once tell me it’d suck me up so I spent all my time bundled up on the sofa. Brothers are mean!
  • When In The Night Garden finishes. This really speaks for itself!

Note that bedtime isn’t on the list?! What a breakthrough. Oscar now actually asks to go to bed (not in so many words, rather, he takes one of our hands and leads us into the bedroom) So adorable.

Mummy’s Thoughts

In the last few months the change in Oscar has been huge – he has gone from a tiny, baby-faced little bubba to a grown up little brainbox toddler (I feel like I’m writing a school report a little bit at the moment!) I know I am biased because I am his mummy, but he really amazes us all and I genuinely can’t believe how clever he is. We quite often just say “How do you know that? You’re 18 months old, not 5!” but then he is our first baby so we’re not always entirely sure what to expect.

He is our little treasure!


Days Out ♥ Runnymede Pleasure Grounds

I was born and raised in Berkshire in the South-East of England so I have visited lots of fun places whilst growing up. It is so lovely to be able to take Oscar to all the places I loved as a child and also creating new adventures in places I hadn’t even heard of. It’s even nicer to see that they haven’t been knocked down or completely changed.

One of my favourites as a child was Runnymede Pleasure Grounds. My Grandma used to take me and my brother quite a lot as she lives in Kingston – it was always the drop off/pick up location when we used to go and stay with her as it was about half way. It’s situated near Egham in Surrey (near to Burger King…very important!) and although the car parking is expensive (£1.50 an hour) you don’t actually have to pay to get in. If you’ve got a National Trust Membership, which I now do (I’m officially old!) then you can park for free up the road.

The grounds itself is right on the River Thames so plenty of boats to watch and you get a nice view of the planes taking off from Heathrow. My little boy is obsessed with anything that moves, pointing and shouting “carrrrrr” at the top of his voice so this is a huge win. The only negative is that you have to watch the kids like a hawk because you can literally walk straight into the river…not ideal. What I mean by that is, there are no fences.

I went there with my friend and her little boy who is 2 months older than Oscar and there was definitely plenty to do. At the entrance there is a little café which serves hot food (fish and chips too I think), cold food, drink and most importantly, ice cream. There is a play park but I’d say it’s not really suited to little ones as the climbing frames are really tall and even the ‘baby’ one didn’t have any steps. If you don’t mind lifting your child up to go down the slide every 2 minutes then I guess that’s fine!

The best and most exciting part though is the mini pool they have there – it’s knee deep so very suitable for kids of any age. Oscar and his little friend loved it, although they were more interested in opening and closing the gate. Maybe we’ll take them back when they’re a bit older and understand the fun they are missing out on. Oh and definitely take spare clothes for them…..and you! I got soaked, but thankfully it was nice and hot so I dried off quickly.

There is also a bouncy castle and some little amusement rides for the summer months so lots to do for all ages. We enjoyed a picnic on the huge grass area as well before exploring the area and having fun in the pool.

The area itself is lovely. It’s right next to the site of the Magna Carta and there are lots of walks up to the memorials – we’re saving those for a cooler day because walking in this heat is no fun.

We had such a lovely day and can’t back to go back again very soon!